Are you excited to open your own business? Do you feel like you’ve got this in the bag, you’ve got everything taken care of and that you are capable of sailing independently out into the vast ocean of entrepreneurship?
If you answer “yes” to all questions, then congratulations! You have all the makings of a potential business superstar. Truth be told, however, it’s not all that simple. As you may well know by now, opening up shop is serious business. Regardless of whatever theme or market focus you may have, there is nothing easy or effortless about maintaining your own enterprise, especially when you don’t have the backing of a full staff just yet.
Allowing you to be just a bit more circumspect with your business decisions is a well-crafted management plan. You’ll be surprised to realise, though, that it’s not just about being a good manager to your team, but also allowing yourself to be a good follower to the system that you have chosen.
Here are a few tips that can help you better manage your business, especially if you are new in the game:
Set Realistic Goals
Whether for daily short-term projects, or for long-term forecasts, it is important for you to have an objective in sight. This allows you not only to have a direction as to where you would want your company to go, it also gives you a driving force to keep on pushing to continue what you started.
It can’t be just about any goals, though. It has to be realistic and feasible. This is because the business landscape is a very practical environment. Although ideals and ideas make for a very good foundation, the success of an entrepreneurial venture does not solely rely on these. Even with everything in its proper place, if the goals set are not realistic—whether in the time frame or in the outcome—the business will flounder. In the end, the only thing reaped from this unrealistic investment would be frustration and regret.
One example of this is with regard to the ever-coveted ROI or return of investment. The folly of new entrepreneurs usually is that they give themselves a very short amount of time, like a year or two, for them to recoup the money they have shelled out for the business. Ill-advised entrepreneurs are likely to believe that they can enjoy the benefits of their investments as soon as the doors open for business, and so could pay back their unsecured small business loans faster, too. This does not only set the tone for early disappointments, however, it also throws off the business calendar from a more realistic timetable.
Of course, when this expectation is not met, then the entrepreneur, led to believe all this time that he is doing the right thing and so is on the right track, would come to blame all other factors affecting his business, except for his own unrealistic system. The next time he tries to pursue another business endeavor, he will likely change up some of the processes or system to supposedly improve it. Without altering or recalibrating his expectations to more realistic goals, however, it’s ultimately going to have the same disappointing results.
The bottom line is, if you set realistic goals for yourself—impatient as you may be—then you’re giving yourself more opportunity to go about it using realistic means, which should then make your goal a lot more achievable.
Set Meetings Judiciously
As a manager and owner of a business, it is certainly important to set aside time to meet with your staff. Not only does it allow you to get a better grasp of what’s going on in the floor, it also gives them the opportunity to share their ideas for improving the workflow. Even if you say you are being absolutely hands-on, and that you are experiencing staffing along with them, their perspective still adds something of value to the table that you, as the owner, cannot. For one, they don’t have the bias that you do as the owner in the business. Two, you most likely have to attend to other business-related matters, such as meeting with potential investors or fast business loans, and so can only chip in a few of your hours at a time playing staff.
However, you wouldn’t want to spend too much time on these meetings, because then it will take away from actual productivity hours. Make it brief, concise, and reasonably scheduled, such that no other big task will have to be sacrificed just to make way for the staff meeting.
It’s not only your staff that you would have to sit down with and talk to, though. You’ll also need to have some time for yourself. It’s not so much as an internal monologue as it is introspection on how your business week is going. Set aside a chance for you to assess which among your short-term goals set from last week have already been achieved. What were the points of action that you have taken, and are these meeting the objectives it had sought to meet in the first place?
If there were any difficulties encountered, this will be a good time to also assess what went wrong, and how you can improve on it. Try to see it from a distance, a perspective away from the mad rush of when you were just about to implement the action, and so, therefore, could not be as objective about the process as possible. This should also be the best time to note of other comments or observations from your clients, staff, or yourself regarding business operations.
Give Due Recognition
While you expect your staff to do their best not only in giving their loyal service to the company, but also in faithfully representing the brand to the clients, it is also your responsibility as the owner to give credit where credit is due. Some bosses come to think that lauding a good performance must only be reserved for more formal settings, such as during evaluations, and avoided as best as possible on regular occasions. The reasoning behind this, supposedly, is that it may lead to the staff’s complacency when it comes to their work attitude.
Then again, this perceived risk is not mutually exclusive. In fact, there also lies the danger of the employees feeling unappreciated with their efforts when their boss will scrimp on expressing gratitude or congratulations on the staff’s hard work. In order to be able to manage well, the boss must be able to show that they can give due recognition just as they take the credit for a business’ good performance—which basically is thanks to the staff, too.
Making the staff feel like they truly are a part of the team with the simple gesture of recognising their little contributions to the company, such as through weekly incentive schemes, can do wonders in boosting their morale, and so, their work performance, ultimately benefitting the company, too.
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